Cities Where Crime Is Soaring in Every State

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Source: Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. / Facebook

41. South Dakota
> Metro area: Sioux Falls
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +80.4% (metro area) +64.7% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 388 (metro area) 418 (state)
> 2016 murders: 10 (metro area) 27 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 2.3% (metro area) 2.8% (state)

In South Dakota, Sioux Falls’ violent crime rate rose by an alarming 80% between 2011 and 2016. While this increase is substantial, because of the area’s previously low violent crime rate, it did not lead to an extraordinarily high crime rate. Sioux Falls’ violent crime rate rose from 215 incidents per 100,000 people in 2011, one of the lowest rates of any metropolitan area that year, to 388 incidents per 100,000 incidents in 2016 — in line with the national rate of 386 per 100,000 incidents.

Source: Thinkstock

42. Tennessee
> Metro area: Chattanooga
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +7.9% (metro area) +4.1% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 541 (metro area) 633 (state)
> 2016 murders: 33 (metro area) 486 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.9% (metro area) 4.8% (state)

The incidence of violent crime increased by 4.1% in Tennessee from 2011 to 2016. Today, the state ranks among the most dangerous in the country, with a violent crime rate of 633 incidents per 100,000 residents. Crime rates in the state are driven largely by violent crime in major metro areas. Of the state’s nine metro areas tracked by the FBI, seven have a higher violent crime rate than the U.S. as a whole — including Memphis, which is one of the most dangerous metro areas in the country with 1,082 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

In the Chattanooga metro area, the violent crime rate increased by 7.9% over the past half decade. Despite the greater increase in violent crime than the increase statewide, Chattanooga is safer than the state as a whole with a violent crime rate of 541 incidents per 100,000 people.

Source: Larry D. Moore / Wikimedia Commons

43. Texas
> Metro area: San Angelo
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +32.7% (metro area) +6.3% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 334 (metro area) 434 (state)
> 2016 murders: 6 (metro area) 1,478 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.5% (metro area) 4.6% (state)

The incidence of violent crime in the San Angelo metro area spiked 32.7% from 2011 to 2016, the largest increase of any metro area in the state and well above the 6.3% statewide uptick.

In many metro areas on this list, the spikes in crime are often the result of a particularly bad 2016 and not part of a broader trend of increasing violence. The San Angelo metro area, however, is not one of them as the incidence of violent crime has increased in each of the last five years. Despite the increase, San Angelo is safer than Texas as a whole. There were 334 violent crimes in the area for every 100,000 residents in 2016, below the 434 incidents per 100,000 residents across the Lone Star State.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

44. Utah
> Metro area: Logan
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +38.8% (metro area) +24.5% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 66 (metro area) 243 (state)
> 2016 murders: 2 (metro area) 72 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.1% (metro area) 3.4% (state)

Utah’s Logan metropolitan area has an especially low violent crime rate relative to the rest of the country. In 2016, there were 66.2 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, compared to 386.3 per 100,000 nationwide. Today, Logan is the safest metro area in Utah and among the safest nationwide. Nevertheless, violent crime in Logan shot up 38.8% from 2011 to 2016. The murder, rape, and robbery rates all increased. However, there was a slight decrease in aggravated assaults.

Source: ciapix / Wikimedia Commons

45. Vermont
> Metro area: None
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: (metro area) +17.1% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 158 (state)
> 2016 murders: 14 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.3% (state)

Vermont’s Burlington metropolitan area does not have comparable crime data over the past five years. However, violent crime across the state rose by 17% between 2011 and 2016, compared to the national 0.2% decrease nationwide. Even with the increase, however, violent crime in the state remains lower than nearly all other states. The state’s 2016 violent crime rate of 158 reported incidents per 100,000 residents is the second lowest of any state, behind only Maine.